Although living in Paris, Sam Tshabalala's music
remains deeply rooted in South African culture
About twenty years ago, world music had reached its first peak. Bands from all over the globe were looking for success in Europe. So did the Malopoets from South Africa with their singer and guitar player Sam Tshabalala. They played in France supporting the French-Senegalese top band Touré Kunda; they were signed by EMI and went on tour in the USA in 1985.
It looked really well for them as they had made the important step from the local South African market into Europe. In these days South Africa was in state of emergency, the civil war had broken out and the Malopoets were known for their very explicit lyrics criticizing the Apartheid-Regime. Some of the Malopoets, among them Sam Tshabalala, decided to stay in France in exile after coming back from the USA, while other members of the band went back to South Africa to be with their families.
The end of the Apartheid in 1989 marked also the end of the Malopoets as the members of the band were scattered all over the globe. In 1993, Sam Tsabalala founded his own band Sabeka and started to work in Paris with African musicians from Cameroon, Senegal, Ivory Coast and many other African countries. Sam Tshabalala represented South Africa at the EXPO 2000 in Hannover and released his first Solo-Album "Communication in 2001.
Today, Sam Tshabalala still lives in Paris but his music remains deeply rooted in South African culture.
Further reading at Sam Tshabalala's booking agency Griot